Well, we all knew it was coming. They finally canceled the 2004-2005 NHL season. And here we are, in the dry season between the end of football and the beginning of baseball (otherwise knows as "basketball season"). We're bored. We miss penalty shots. We miss the fights. We miss the great saves and the great passes and the great scores.
And its hard to feel bad for anyone, really. Can you tell me that I should feel bad for men who play a sport as their job and get paid millions for it - who refuse to link their salaries to how much money the team makes? Or for a Tiffany-cuff-linked businessman who own various sports franchises as a million dollar hobby - who forge their books and hate paying the players even though they are the ones putting butts in the seats? Or for face-painters, season ticket holders, jersey wearers, stats knowers - who continue to pay $40 for one upper corner seat where they are closer to the moon than the ice?
Its our fault, too, the fans. We continue to make these players feel like they are deserving of our admiration and our hard earned money, and they continue to sit out, lock out, strike...or just pout, moan, gripe, moon the fans, whatever...and we keep on coming back for more.
Its hard to believe that these two groups (players and owners) couldn't get together and come to an agreement for the benefit of their sport. Hockey is already number 4 in this country, a distant 4th after football, baseball, and basketball. No one besides a select few even seem to care that the season hasn't been happening. And won't even fewer care if they can agree on something in time to save next season...or the season after that? If the players can agree to a salary cap, finally (don't get me started on the fact that if they were going to agree on the premise of a cap, why they didn't do that MONTHS ago...), why in the world can't they figure out what that cap should be? And why in the world wouldn't it be linked to how much the team makes in revenues???
I miss hockey. I truly do. I am a face-painting, former-season-ticket-holding, jersey-wearing, stats knowing fan...and I deserve better than this. And as for whether I will be back next season...all I can say is, stay tuned.